A sea of tents sprawls over the US American airbase Ramstein (Germany, state of Rhineland-Palatinate) to host at least 20,000 Afghans; more likely 34,000 already. About a thousand arrivals land every day and the troops have moved a 5,000 of them to their nearby military base ‘Rhine Ordnance Barracks.’ The US works feverishly to expand its capacity there to host even 6,000 of them. And while many conservatives have dropped the ball in their obsession to exploit any failure of the Biden administration, the uneasy question who can be rescued, correctly identified and who can not remains unanswered. Commentator after commentator shows compassion with that 50% of women that will have to live under the Taliban despite the Pew Research finding that 99% of those very women want to live under shariah law. Everybody feels heartless asking how the other 1% can be identified so we don’t import the very Taliban we once set out to fight. And now with the sprawling camp smack in the middle of Europe nobody knows how to get some of the “rescued” back home again.
The EU Court of Justice has delivered another blow to Hungary last weekend. According to the judges, the already dismantled Hungarian transit zones constituted a “detention,” despite its opening towards the perfectly save Serbia where the immigrants came from. Hungary is castigated for not being helpful enough to perfect strangers in their ambition to start masses of expensive and exhaustive legal processes. EU law demands the individualisation of asylum politics and remains an obstacle to bulk solutions. But while the careless elites and advocates have lost themselves in their legalese, they can still not answer the question: Why should people who have travelled to their border be more privileged or more needing than the millions of people in Africa, Asia and Latin America? And when are they too many?
The official story of Angela Merkel’s “opening of the border(s)” (Grenzöffnung) is that she was taken by surprise by an emergency on September 4th, 2015. The reality is much different. The disposal of the Dublin Agreement, which delegates the responsibility of the asylum applications within the Schengen area of the EU, was completed a week in advance and leaked documents show the details of it. The agency responsible for immigration and asylum (BAMF) tweeted out its change of procedures a few days later. The newspaper Tagesspiegel wrote an entire article. If Merkel can read, she knew what was going on. Her role, however, was probably bigger.